The Austere Academy by Lemony Snicket

The Austere Academy by Lemony Snicket

Violet, Klaus, and Sunny are at first optimistic–attending school is a welcome change for the book-loving trio, and the academy is allegedly safe from the dreaded Count Olaf, who is after their fortune.

Dear Reader, 

If you are looking for a story about cheerful youngsters spending a jolly time at boarding school, look elsewhere. Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire arc intelligent and resourceful children, and you might expect that they would do very well at school. Don’t. For the Baudelaires, school turns out to be another miserable episode in their unlucky lives. 

Truth be told, within the chapters that make up this dreadful story, the children will face snapping crabs, strict punishments, dripping fungus, comprehensive exams, violin recitals, S.O.R.E., and the metric system. 

It is my solemn duty to stay up all night researching and writing the history of these three hapless youngsters, but you may be more comfortable getting a good night’s sleep. In that case, you should probably choose some other book. 

With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket


Book Overview:

Author: Lemony Snicket | Series: A Series of Unfortunate Events | Format: Audiobook | Narrated by: Lemony Snicket | Length: 3 hours, 16 minutes | Publish Date: August 31, 2000 | Genre: YA/Childrens Fantasy | Rating: ★ ★ ★   | Recommend: Yes

“Friends can make you feel that the world is smaller and less sneaky than it really is, because you know people who have similar experiences.”


I finally reached a point in this series that I never did before. I don’t remember why I didn’t continue this series back during my first read, but I’m working on it now. Progress, right?

Once again, the Baudelaires are sent to some terrible place because Mr. Poe refuses to take care of them along with his dreadful children. Apparently he doesn’t have time to take care of them, nor find appropriate guardians that won’t treat them like trash or will be smart enough to see past Count Olaf’s numerous and tasteless disguises. No, this is a series of unfortunate events. We all should know better than to think that one of these books in this long journey will actually have a positive outcome for them.

Although, I will say that this was my favorite book so far because something good did happen in their lives. They met the Quagmire triplets – although they only had the pleasure of meeting two of the three – and became good friends in a hopeless situation. That was probably the best part of this book, because even for a moment, the Baudelaires found kindred spirits and the Quagmires gave them hope.

Of course that didn’t last, but what did you expect?

Author Spotlight
Courtesy of Goodreads

Born: San Francisco, United States
Genre: Children’s Books, Mystery & Thrillers
Goodreads Member Since: June 2014

Lemony Snicket had an unusual education and a perplexing youth and now endures a despondent adulthood. His previous published works include the thirteen volumes in A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Composer is Dead, and 13 Words. His new series is All The Wrong Questions.
The Miserable Mill by Lemony Snicket

The Miserable Mill by Lemony Snicket

Dear Reader,

I hope, for your sake, that you have not chosen to read this book because you are in the mood for a pleasant experience. If this is the case, I advise you to put this book down instantaneously, because of all the books describing the unhappy lives of the Baudelaire orphans, The Miserable Mill might be the unhappiest yet. Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire are sent to Paltryville to work in a lumber mill, and they find disaster and misfortune lurking behind every log.

The pages of this book, I’m sorry to inform you, contain such unpleasantries as a giant pincher machine, a bad casserole, a man with a cloud of smoke where his head should be, a hypnotist, a terrible accident resulting in injury, and coupons.

I have promised to write down the entire history of these three poor children, but you haven’t, so if you prefer stories that are more heartwarming, please feel free to make another selection.

With all due respect,

Lemony Snicket

“Optimist” is a word which here refers to a person, such as Phil, who thinks hopeful and pleasant thoughts about nearly everything. For instance, if an optimist had his left arm chewed off by an alligator, he might say, in a pleasant and hopeful voice, “Well, this isn’t too bad. I don’t have my left arm anymore, but at least nobody will ever ask me whether I am right-handed or left-handed,” but most of us would say something more along the lines of “Aaaaah! My arm! My arm!”


My favorite thing about these books is the author commentary throughout it. It makes it so hilarious and punny and really makes me like Lemony Snicket as an author. Although it does make it almost that much worse that the Baudelaires have to go through so much crap because they live in a world where these adults they have to deal with are completely useless. It’s ridiculous, but I bet that’s what we would feel like if we were in these shoes.


It also makes me realize that Violet needs to learn way more words, and read way more like her brother Klaus. Since Klaus is mostly incapacitated during this book, she has to do the job for both of them, and there’s a chapter where she is reading a book and for all the words that she doesn’t understand, she would “hmm” in its place. I guess book nerds learn a lot more than non-book nerds! Is that me being biased? Not at all! Just look at Violet, who has to “hmm” her way through a book trying to figure out how to get someone to be unhypnotized, among other things.

Hmm.

Rated: 4/5 

The Wide Window by Lemony Snicket

The Wide Window by Lemony Snicket

Dear Reader,

If you have not read anything about the Baudelaire orphans, then before you read even one more sentence, you should know this: Violet, Klaus, and Sunny are kindhearted and quick-witted; but their lives, I am sorry to say, are filled with bad luck and misery. All of the stories about these three children are unhappy and wretched, and this one may be the worst of them all. If you haven’t got the stomach for a story that includes a hurricane, a signalling device, hungry leeches, cold cucumber soup, a horrible villain, and a doll named Pretty Penny, then this book will probably fill you with despair. I will continue to record these tragic tales, for that is what I do. You, however, should decide for yourself whether you can possibly endure this miserable story.

With all due respect,

Lemony Snicket


“There are few sights sadder than a ruined book.” 


I swear the books just get worse and worse (meaning the content, not my thoughts of the books). I think Aunt Josephine was the absolute worse guardian that the Baudelaires ever had, not including Count Olaf of course. I don’t think anyone can be on par with Uncle Monty except their parents, and of course, if their parents were alive they wouldn’t have had to deal with all of these unfortunate events.

Reading this for the second time – the first time being a long, long time ago – I had to realize that the Baudelaires were practically thrown away by Aunt Josephine. I don’t know if I ever realized it to the extent that I did today just how terrible she was. She was a coward, and I don’t know how her husband Ike ever dealt with her. I don’t know how she never died of fright earlier. How she lived so long was beyond me.

In case you didn’t notice, I’m trying to get through all of these books to finally see what happened to the Baudelaires. I never finished the series the first time around, but here I am, trying to accomplish this goal. So here goes.

Poor Baudelaires.

Rated: 4/5